Another Cloud Podcast

A podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business, and learn how they're using Cloud Technology to improve business and the customer experience.

Closing the Loop on VoC with Allastair Meffen

with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom

Don't have time to listen? Read the full transcription.

Alex McBratney (Host)  00:00

Hello, and welcome to Another Cloud Podcast, a podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business and learn how they're using cloud technology to improve business and customer experience. All right, well, welcome to another cloud podcast. We are excited today to have Allastair Meffen. On the show, he is the VP of customer experience over at Definitive Healthcare. Allastair, how you doing today?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  00:29

I'm doing great, Alex. Thanks. Thanks for having me on. Looking forward to a good, good talk today.

Alex McBratney (Host)  00:36

Yeah. Well, I hear from you specifically that there's been some snow in the spring up there in the northeast and boss. I'm sorry. I'm sorry to hear that.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  00:45

Yeah, we've Yeah, unfortunately. We've got about two inches on the ground here at my house and then further up north I guess the mountains are getting some decent snow so there might be some spring skiing for those people actually enjoy that sort of thing.

Alex McBratney (Host)  01:01

Yeah, just what do you think things are starting to lighten up? So it is always funny. It just pulls it right back from you. So well, we hope. Sunny, shiny weekend is Friday for us recording today. So we're all looking forward to the weekend. Everyone's happy already. Good to have you back. Good to have you on. Good to see you.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  01:17

Yeah, Alex, thanks for having me on another episode. Looking forward to the conversation today, customer experiences kind of in the theme in the last couple of episodes. So looking forward to getting another viewpoint and then also drilling a little bit more into some details.

Alex McBratney (Host)  01:33

Absolutely. So Allastair, let's just start super high level, once you give everyone just a quick background about how you got into customer experience, that wasn't, typically it's not a college degree that you can just go out and get. It usually comes from when I came from here, I came from there, and I worked my way and just happened to fall into customer experience. Tell us a little bit about that journey to how you ended up the VP of Definitive Healthcare.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  01:56

Yeah. So I started off as a Sales Engineer, loved being in front of customers and had a great rep that I worked with. And you know, we had a great time out on the road. But you know, by the time we ended up, my wife ended up getting pregnant, so I had to move back in the house, I couldn't be that road warrior anymore. And moved into support, which was fairly straightforward having been a sales engineer wasn't too hard to move into support. And so I spent about four years and as I was working with some customers, and we were looking at some data and my previous company, we started to realize that we were seeing our renewal rates start to dip. And we started to do some analytics on where that dip was happening. And we realized it was actually in our longer term customers who had been with us three, four years, which is surprising. Usually your longer tenured customers are fairly easy to renew. And there's not a problem there. And a lot of those customers I knew personally, because I actually had sold the deals, and had done their implementation. So we started up a customer back then we call it customer advocacy. And so, which is now of course taken on a whole different meaning in today's tech world. Yeah. And so we started up the customer advocacy team, which eventually evolved into customer success. And, you know, had the pleasure of being promoted up in that team to manage the CS team. And then I was looking for my next opportunity. And I was able to land a Definitive and customer experience has been now that I'm here. I don't ever want to leave, I think everybody should work in Customer Experience customer success. Because you do get a bit of everything. Right. So super fun. And really, really enjoyed it now helping build out the team at Definitive.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  04:01

Yeah. And tell us a little bit more about Definitive. What do you guys do? What are the channels that you support across what just tell us a little bit more about the support structure and the types of conversations that your team is having?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  04:13

Yeah, absolutely. So, Definitive healthcare is a data and analytics platform specifically for folks that are selling into healthcare. So, we work with Big Pharma all the way to somebody like smuckers right, so anybody that's selling anything or anybody into healthcare, we work with them staffing agencies, etc. And so you know, my team is really there to deliver the value that our customers are trying to get from Definitive. We have six six teams that fall under customer experience. The customer success team is the largest and then we have a support training officer. operations, integrations and aid and a small onboarding team. And we're communicating with our customers on every channel. You know, we're communicating through email, we're communicating through, obviously over the phone, we have some messaging going on. And we're actually starting to explore potentially live chat. So it's sort of like we're figuring out, where do we need to meet our customers in their journey? We started as we've just formed in the past, what are we now eight months, we've started a digital CSM team, which is really focused on inap engagement and meeting the customer within the platform. So we're trying to figure out, where do we need to talk to our customers, because ultimately, that will lead to more success?

Alex McBratney (Host)  05:57

So you came from the technology world as a Sales Engineer, you're working now for Definitive Healthcare, which is like data analytics, very technical, how is that technical background that you have translated into a success just as a leader and as a running customer experience?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  06:14

Yeah, so I think the technical background has helped me be able to dig in on customer use cases, I think, you, when you have a technical background, sorry, you, you truly need to dive very deep with your customers so that you understand how they plan to leverage your technology. And the same is true in data. If you don't, if you don't have that ability to pull out that specific use case, or that specific outcome that that customer is pushing, you're not going to get them to succeed. And that customer is never going to see the value. And so as a leader, helping my team understand that framework and that process has been very successful. We focus on what our customers goals are, what are the plans to get to those goals and then where did they see the risks along the way? And ultimately a customer experience, you're there to help knock down those risks, right? How do I help them either get rid of the Roadblock, or mitigate it, so that they can ultimately reach that desired outcome. And in the previous podcast, we were talking to someone a little bit more about KPIs and voice of the customer and collect color collection of data in and there's really two worlds, it's passive data, which is, you know, speech analytics, sentiment analysis, understanding where they are in their journey, and then what the how they interact with you, or if they do or don't interact. And then there's the more direct, which is literally sending surveys, post contact surveys like CSAT, or MSAT depending on what you call it, also, maybe like MPS surveys. So how are you guys collecting data? Are you doing both? Are you doing one more than the other? How is your data...  Everything that you just described, so we, you know, we're deep into our usage analytics. And we, you know, we leveraged turn zero as our customer success platform, and we feed, feed them quite a bit of that platform quite a bit of our usage data so that we understand the health of the customer. We're really driven by that usage. And then we're looking at, you know, support tickets, all of that passive data that you were talking about. And then we do do we do, we're doing cset, we're doing NPS. We're starting to look at customer effort score CES. We haven't introduced that yet. But it's something we're looking at doing. We're trying to do the big thing, right customers having now living in this virtual world, you're constantly being inundated with things, and we don't want to over stimulate them or over survey them. So trying to find that right balance is key.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  09:23

Yeah, absolutely. And I'm drooling into customer effort score because that's a pretty advanced way to gauge how your customers are doing health wise. What do you guys do? I know you're kind of starting into that phase, but how are you guys planning? If you have any tips and tricks to anyone who's listening or or maybe, maybe you're not there yet, and you want some tips and tricks.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  09:47

Well, I definitely be looking for tips and tricks for sure. You know, the way we're thinking about it right now, we just revamped our onboarding process, so we're looking at the first 90 days of the customer's life with us. And we're looking at implementing CES at the end of that 90 days as a look back, and then potentially, you know, around the renewal time around the billing time just to understand how that's working. But we'd love to understand from other folks, are they using CES instead of CSAT because I know some companies have replaced with CES so that would be an interesting tidbit. If anybody out there.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  10:35

Yeah. And for those on the podcast, who are listening who don't know what that score is, it's customer effort score, which is, how hard did it,  how hard was it for you to get your issue resolved, or how hard was it for you to go through an implementation process, something like that. And then the scales can be all over the place to be like zero to five, or one to 10. And usually, what you want to do is you want to separate the, you know, tops of the data 10, like the nines and 10s. Those are good, everything else is a little bit passive. And then below five is, you know, detractors are not as great. So, yeah, it's good to see that you guys are starting to do that. And I think that's where everyone's really going. They're going a little bit farther away from the Sisa, which is just the, you know, how was the conversation? Do we solve your problem into how hard was it for your problem to be solved? So that's, that's a great tidbit there.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  11:34

For sure.

Alex McBratney (Host)  11:35

How is how is, you know, closing that loop right, the customer journey loop? You know, we talked earlier about, you know, moving from sales to onboarding, and that's a big piece of, you know, the customer effort score, right? How did you create that path for the customer? How does that look, as far as you know, implementing a process for that?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  11:55

Yeah, good question. So this is probably the most important handoff that you'll ever do with a customer is making sure that you're transitioning the trust that that sales rep has built with that customer to to the customer success manager or in the account executive, if that's how you're handling post post sale. And we just recently rolled out our brand new handoff process, we do it through Salesforce, the sales rep, will fill out that document, once once the sale has moved into procurement. There, they're required to fill out a document that outlines you know, what are the challenges that this customer is facing? Why did they buy it? Why are they buying Definitive? And then what ultimately is their desired outcome, right? To steal a little bit from Lincoln Murphy, right. So, we want to make sure that we understand that information, then we have a kickoff call. So we have a pre-call with the sales rep to make sure we're all in alignment on those desired outcomes. And then we have a kickoff call with the customer where literally, you're just spending the time reaffirming and digging, again, you're doing more discovery, to just make sure that you've got complete alignment. If you once you have that alignment, the rest of the rest of their life cycle becomes easy, right? You can bring it up, you can show the status of where you are against those outcomes. And you know, if you're on schedule, everything's great. But if you're behind, you know it's on you and the customer, there has to be accountability on both sides as well. So that's why we make sure to affirm them on that kickoff call so we're holding NAB accountable to that. And then the next time we have to call if something's changed, that's fine, we can readjust. But the customer knows that. You know, we now have to take some time to build up to that.

Alex McBratney (Host)  14:01

Yeah, it's a delicate situation, right? Like this is the beginning of our relationships like the honeymoon phase. And you don't want that honeymoon to go south and this bad experience and they just want to cancel or just you know, you don't want any big roadblocks in the way of that happening. So it's very important. What was interesting. So you've been at definit for about four years now, which is like the perfect time like when you start to implement these new measures and implement these new processes. And now like a kind of coming out of these, like some big policy shifts in either technology, or processes. What would you say has been like the journey is just far when you started to where you're at now, like what are some of the big wins that you'd say you accomplished over these last four years?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  14:45

Yeah, so I think the biggest win, and I credit the team, I just sort of pointed them in the right direction. You know, I spent the first 90 days at Definitive just understanding where you know what the bigger issue issues were from the team's perspective. And to a person, it was all about their onboarding, right, they really felt like they had been thrown into the deep end of the pool. And they were expected to swim with a 50 pound weight tied to their leg. And so I gave them the opportunity to say, okay, build, build the onboarding that you would have wanted to go through. And the team took it, it took them, you know, six, seven months to build out that program and we've since evolved it. I think we're in our fourth or fifth iteration now, since I started, but that has been a huge, huge win. Because the faster that you can ramp your employees, the better they are going to be for your customers and preparing them for their everyday life. So I think that's probably our biggest, in my opinion, our biggest win. We've also made, as you said, the technology evolution has been huge. So when I started at Definitive, we were using Microsoft Access as our CRM, we were using Outlook for our support calls, we had a distribution list that literally went to everybody on the team, and we had to sort of figure out who, who got the email first. And then so we've since then, we've evolved, you know, the very first technology that I purchased was Zendesk, we needed to get a ticketing system in place. To start that and to help the center we needed to take all that knowledge our CSM had and put it somewhere so that we could find it later. So that was our first and then we got Salesforce thank God and and then turn zero has really been the next major one. So we've spent the past a year and a half building out our tech stack and building out the technology on turn zero, and it's been huge. Yuan and Abby and our CSM chase over there have been fantastic and really helped us bring together our vision within the platform. So now that is why we were able to do our digital CSM team. Without trade zero, the digital CSM team doesn't doesn't really have a good way to communicate to our customers at this point.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  17:20

Let's talk a little bit about those contacts. Let's drill into that. So are you guys mainly inbound or outbound? Or is it scheduled based where you're scheduling appointments and times to get them through the you know, 60 day onboarding process? Tell us a little bit about how your customers and employees communicate and engage with each other?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  17:42

Yeah, so we're both so we you know, we have our inbound support team. They're handling both the phone and an email. And we do have our CSM czar handling some of that. But the majority of our stuff is scheduled, right? So we work with our customers to get you know, trainings or check ins, or business reviews scheduled on the calendar at regular intervals. We strive for a 45 and a 90 Day Review within the first 90 days. And we have a couple of trainings within that first time period as well. And then business reviews, roughly every quarter, that's what we look to do. But you know, as everybody knows who's listening to the podcast, not all customers want to meet you that often. Right? So it's making sure that you understand what their expectations are as well. So that then the csms are leveraging turn zero, so they know which customers are red. Which ones are green and yellow, right and figuring out you know, those customers that are red that are unresponsive, what do we need to do? Is it a hit them every day sort of thing? Is it escalating up to you know, myself or or our VP of account management to to get on the phone with that customer. But strategizing there, once you get into the unresponsive category. 

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  19:12

Yeah, I used to work for a company software as a service and they we had a onboarding implementation team, it's about 30 to 45 days depending on what how big of the project of an implementation and same style where we would do outbound scheduling and after an appointment or scheduled time, then there would be assigned homework and you couldn't really go to the next session until the homework was completed. And we found that there are some people who just loved it and thrived through it and just went through the process super fast. And those were the you know, the majority of the customers but then here's like, you know, 15 to 20% at any given time where one they didn't like it because it's too much of a school type environment. They would dropped out after one or two meetings where they wouldn't do their homework, where they wouldn't show up to the third meeting, because they didn't do their homework from meeting number two, and they felt embarrassed, or they felt like it was potentially a waste of time for the company to jump on the call. So lots of KPIs and metrics that you can collect, and some of them are not necessarily binary, they're very subjective during that process.  Is it like an agent or an employee on your side is trying to project manage and then scoring the customers health in that way? How do you collect that information through a process that complicated?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  20:40

Yeah, so where our turn, so our health score, turn score is based on five things, the three main are based around usage. How often are they in the platform? How much are they in the platform, and then how, how many licenses are active, right? So you know, if you've, if you have that five licenses and only one user is in there, there's a good chance there's something else going on, and they should definitely have a lower health score. We also do look at, you know, separately, we're looking at the, along the journey, we can actually track their status, whether they're on track or whether they're behind. And that's one of the levers that we can pull as well. So for instance, if they haven't done their initial training within the first 10 days of becoming a customer, that sends up a red flag, right to the to the CSM, and then if it continues, it'll send it up to the manager, so that we can collect that data. So it's, I would say, it's sort of subjective, but it's a pretty good indicator as to how well engaged that customer is with your company, if they're willing to go through that training or have those checking calls with you. So we leverage all of that data to determine their health. And you know, whether they're on a good track or not.

Alex McBratney (Host)  22:09

You mentioned someone's name earlier, Lincoln Murphy, and I know that you wrote a book, and I tell us a little bit about that book, that book in itself, and how that's effect, you know, helped craft your customer experience at Definitive. And are there any other ones that you've really relied on to help you know, give you a vision for where to take things?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  22:30

Yeah, so Customer Success is the name of the book. It's written by sorry, the puppy acted up in the back. So that was written by Lincoln Murphy and then Nick Mehta, and Dan Steinman, who are both from Gainsight? Right, Nick was the CEO of Gainsight. And it was really the first foray into understanding what Customer Success looked like. And really having people understand that having a proactive outlook on things was necessary for customers to be successful. I think, you know, we think intuitively we knew that. But he didn't act that way, right? We were reacting a lot of reacting to the customer. Wow, he is really upset right now.

Alex McBratney (Host)  23:27

This is gonna segway us into the next conversation about work from home. So...

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  23:31

Yeah. Yeah. So I think that's really helped me. I have a really good perspective on moving my team in that direction, right? How do we stop waiting for customers to come to us with their problems and let's go to them and meet them where they want to be met anyway.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  23:51

Yeah. And I have to ask what kind of dog that dog sounds. So a little bit...

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  23:58

So he's an English Mastiff. So he's just...

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  24:01

Oh, big dog.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  24:04

He's about 140 pounds at the moment, and going up to probably 170 180.

Alex McBratney (Host)  24:10

Holy Oh, wow. Holy cow. That's a big one there. So well, and I'm serious about the segway into work from home. So how is that we talk a lot about digital transformation, the tech stack being in the cloud now. How was it when the pandemic hit? And it was like, Oh, crap, we've all got to work from home. Like how were you guys set up for that? Were you frantic with it saying how are we gonna figure this out?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  24:34

So we were a week away from testing work from home. So we, as a management team, we knew we were sort of moving in that direction and we were going to do everybody go work from home one day, the following week. And Massachusetts shut down and it was like okay, We're all now we're all going to work from home. We're going to test this real time. Yeah. So our poor IT team was mean, they’re amazing, right? They went out to I think they went to Best Buy Target, Walmart and literally walked down the headphone aisle with like the arm on the shelf and just like yeah, so like we've got people with the sweet xbox headsets at home now because we're set up for it. Right? 

Alex McBratney (Host)  25:35

And I was like hmmm ones and like, yes.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  25:38

I have my Bose I, you know, I started off using my Bose bluetooth headphones. So it was interesting to say the least. And you know, my kids, you know, and then everybody has their kids, right? And what do you do? How are y'all doing this school and everything else. My youngest son is autistic and trying to do virtual school with him is just a nightmare. He doesn't want to do it. It's the worst thing in the world. He's perfectly happy to go to school all the time. You do it now. But so that  was a huge challenge for my wife and I was just trying to figure out.

Alex McBratney (Host)  26:22

Yeah, it absolutely was. And it's no wonder there were shortages on everything starting with toilet paper first. But then electronics you can't go to couldn't find you go to the shells were just empty. And imagine all the companies similar to yours that were like, We need to go get the certain, you know, new modems, new headsets, like whatever it is to get this work for chairs, right? How people are gonna get up. So absolutely. A frantic pace for everybody for sure. But I've really liked the idea of like, you know, leaning on others like with the book, right and seeing what others are doing. It's a newer path, but it's not completely new to where you can't go out and find people to help consult with or to learn from peers in this industry, because it has grown so much over the past 10 years. Is there anyone any shoutouts like just colleagues or peers that you've worked with that have, you know, been an influence and help you craft this?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  27:19

Yeah. So you know, I think Jeff McClellan and Laura Carson really helped, you know, Jeff was my first boss in customer advocacy. He and I sort of started the team together. And he's, you know, he's now over at IBM heading up one of their customer success teams. And, and Laura Carson, who she, you know, she took over from Jeff, when he moved on, and she, you know, really helped sort of shape shape the team and where we needed to go. And so without them I probably, who knows where I would have gone. I know, I would still be in customer success. Do I think I would be in the position I'm in now? Probably not.

Alex McBratney (Host)  28:04

Yeah. There's absolutely a, you know, attract when you see people that could help you get to where you need to go. How is that influenced your leadership style with your team members as grown right from? Well, I think you said around 20, up 70 people, how has that influenced your leadership style and mentoring and bringing up those young younger hustlers? Right. I want to hey, yeah, prove themselves?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  28:26

Yeah. So it's been? It's been great. You know, we, my team, I had a, you said, Hold on one second. I just need to get there's an alarm going off in the background? Oh, no, I'm sorry, one o'clock alarm on Alexa, just keep going off. So we sorry, Alex, can you just repeat the question? I lost, I lost my train of thought there.

Alex McBratney (Host)  28:56

Yeah, it was around leadership and mentoring up the peak, you know, younger, the younger generation or the young hustlers that want to, you know, and how just a leadership style and how you look at that towards your team?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  29:07

Yeah. So I think, you know, that's the most important part of a manager. If I'm not, you know, if I'm not looking to train my successor, and asking my managers to do the same, then I'm failing. I think that, that that's, I love doing it. And that's what Jeff and Bora instilled to me as well. It's like your job is to not you've got stuff that you need to do but ultimately teaching your team how to do their job and do it well. Is this the ultimate pleasure of being a leader? And you know, I had a call earlier this morning with one of my coworkers. One of the CSM is on my team and we're just talking about what it's like to be a CSM and where you know how to think about your daily job. be organized. And you know, where do you find those, just those little joys every day. Right? That this isn't an easy job. And you're dealing with, you know, some of the worst issues, and you're going to deal with customers that are just really upset with you. And you have to be able to deal with that. But then move on to the next thing and find, find that little piece of joy every day. Because I love coming to work, and that my team is what gets me coming to work every day. Because they're, they keep me on my toes, no question. And I'm learning, I learned just as much from them as they do for me. 

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  30:42

So let's talk a little bit about team structure, because a lot of people listening, they may not have someone who has a customer experience, you know, in their title or customer success. How do you structure your team? How did it start? How has it evolved over time? And for someone who doesn't have someone who focuses on experience? How would they start? Or how well would you recommend?

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  31:13

Yeah, so I guess I'll start there, I think trying to justify a customer success team is not easy. I think, in a SAS world, you know, understanding that keeping customers is less expensive, than getting new ones, right. So if you can, if you can spend just a little bit more money on a customer success manager to help you may retain that customer, their lifetime value with you is Who knows, you should absolutely go and do that math, and figure out if this customer stayed with you for five years, how much is that worth to your company, versus having to go get, you know, five new customers one every year to to maintain that same revenue, you will always find in the end that retaining that customer is going to be way more economical, and make you more money in the end. So I think that's, that's where I would, that's how we position it, how we think about it. My team started off as 18, what we call account managers, they had anywhere from 120 to 150 accounts, they were completely reactive. They were doing everything they were doing support, they were doing training they were having to onboard. And, you know, to really be an effective CSM, you need to have the time to be able to think strategically and think about what is the value that I'm trying to deliver to my customers, and what's the next thing, right, looking at their own goals. If they're public, it's super easy and go listen to their quarterly read out right and be able to chart that. But watching the news is, you know, important. So I started building out the team, we started with a support team first. So that we could take away those tickets from the team. We then built out a training team. So that team is now strong. We added a small onboarding team, so our long tail customers, you know, we put them through an onboarding, but then we our support and training team is really who works with them after. So we booked that was a conscious decision. So we had to build out a couple of onboarding specialists. And then we do integrate with a couple of different things. We integrate with Salesforce directly in their application, but then we've got ways to integrate with pretty much every CRM out there. So we had to build an integration team to take that away from the CSM. And, and then finally, our last team was our operations team that we built out and thank God, we did that. That if you're not talking to your CEO about enough, if you're at 10 plus CSS, and you're not talking to your CEO about an operations team, you need to like go go find it. So you know, I was fortunate one of my senior CSM with someone who decided that she you know, she didn't she liked customer success, but she didn't want to be customer facing anymore and she really enjoyed the process end of things. So, you know, Jenny came to me and said I'd really love to do operations. That's where I want to be and between her initiative and sort of my backing she actually wrote her own job description she built it out and thank god she did. That team has been a lifesaver and really helped our team so Total structure on my team, we've got six CSM teams that we've built out. Seven actually took them up to seven. And then our support training, integration and onboarding and operations.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  35:16

Yeah, it's tough going from, you know, everyone does everything to separate it, and everyone wears maybe one or two hats out of the 10 that they used to. So managing the expectation, and that change send can sometimes be a leadership challenge, versus it being more of a technical challenge. So it's, it's glad, I'm glad to hear that there's a success story that comes out of it. And you know, you could have this career path for people to potentially write their own job description and, you know, carve out an area of space where they could own and grow.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  35:51

Yeah, that's great. Yeah, I think, you know, smaller come we were small, right? Smaller companies have you get to wear those hats, and then we find one that you really liked. You know, I had the same experience in Nevada. So it's, it's, it's a fun feeling when you can do that.

Alex McBratney (Host)  36:09

Yeah, it's interesting, because you, we've talked to several people now on the podcast, where they have a plan in place to take CSM or take people to the Support Center, and give them opportunities where like, you're only going to be here for 1824 months. And then the goal is to move you up into other areas of the business. And people that started support, have a great perspective of the organization of sales of you know, tech, the technical aspect of the product and, and just what customers are dealing with on a daily basis. So they can take that to other departments, and really shine a light on certain things that if you just came in from the outside are harder to see. And so it sounds like the same thing for you. It's like, you have these six different teams. And it's like, well, someone's kind of outgrown that CSM role or getting burnt out on taking calls from angry customers. It's okay, you've done it for two years, let's, let's move you up, let's progress your career, which keeps people sticky. And that, you know, eliminates the churn of your employees too.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  37:04

Yep. Yeah, it's really important to be able to find that right path. Right. So we've, we've been very fortunate. We, we actually, we're the team that people come to, which has been good. So you know, we've taken in some of the Kuntar team, and we've got our research team. But we've had folks, as you said, Alex, we've, we've had csms, who realized, you know what I really enjoy being in the back end, I really love being in the data on a daily basis. So you know what I'm going to go, I'd love to go work for the professional services team. But they're bringing the customer perspective to that team now, which is huge. For some, you know, most of that team doesn't interface with customers every day. But they now have somebody on their team who can tell them, Hey, this is what it's actually like.

Alex McBratney (Host)  37:56

Yeah, exactly. It's all reality, right? So your own reality field knows it and what it's like in other areas that can be is eye opening, you know, when someone else can come in and say, well, actually, here's how we are doing things over here. And what the customers are dealing with in this, you know, sector for us. So one of the things we like to do Allaster as we kind of get closer to wrapping up is we talked about our customer experience, right? Well, we've dealt with airlines or restaurants or just as a customer ourselves, and we don't focus on the bad, because that's easy. Everyone can focus on the bad customer experiences. So what we want to do is ask you what you have had in the last year. I know it's been hard because people haven't been going out a lot or traveling much. But a really amazing customer experience that you've dealt with a certain brand, you can name them or not. Typically we like to name them because it's a good thing. But yeah, if anything where you're like, wow, you were wowed by the experience and thought of making it, made you think about your experience at Definitive.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  38:57

Yeah, it's actually a really good question. We do spend a lot of time focusing on the bad. We're thinking of B2C. So I think probably the Amazon we had a we bought the sunny bike from Amazon, which sort of like the peloton. We didn't want to pay for peloton. Yep. And so we were able to get the app Of course for like 12 bucks a month or whatever. But yeah, so we bought a sunny bike, and you can schedule it to have at home. then come to your home now and put it in. And the gentleman who came was awesome. He was here for about half an hour putting the bite together and stepping me through you know, here are the things you can tweak. This is how you can take it apart. And just super friendly and easy. So Amazon had adapted to you know, of course, Basil is not a surprise right but adapting to the new world. And making sure that they have that service available to them, to their customers. 

Alex McBratney (Host)  40:05

Yeah, in the ecommerce world, you have to find that human, find a way to humanize it, right, because it can be very, two day shipping, one day shipping, it just comes and goes, comes and goes. But when there's a product that actually needs some support, as great to partner up, and I actually have a great story, I'm gonna actually, I'm gonna post it on LinkedIn Pretty soon, but it was when I bought new tires for my car, I go to a dealer ills Tire Rack, find the great deal better deals than you'll find at your local tire shop. And then at the end, they have you get to choose a service that will come out a mobile service comes out, installs the tires on my car, I don't have to leave, I can keep working the guys out front, I can see through my window and touch you know, just the the process was I was amazed because I don't know if you've experienced this, but you go down to America's tire tire or one of those tire shops and you sit there for four hours, we have to have your wife or someone drop you off, pick you up. It's a complete hassle. And this was I can't stop talking about it because it was just so convenient. Just right out front. I took a picture of it with my car up on Jack's and he had the whole balancing thing that was great. I love it.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  41:12

See if they're up here in New England. That's an amazing story.

Alex McBratney (Host)  41:16

Yeah, Tire Rack is and they have these companies that they've partnered with all over the country.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  41:24

Oh, okay. So yeah, okay, so there's sort of like a franchise out.

Alex McBratney (Host)  41:27

So you can choose which installer you want, I just went with the one with the better ratings. But I wouldn't have known about it had my word of mouth, right had my friend not who's a car guy. So yeah, just go order your tires on Tire Rack, and they'll have someone come out and like, you know, install it, like, brilliant. And the price was the same, maybe even a little cheaper than going out to the regular store. So Aarde, I was on a rant there. But...

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)  41:52

No. Yeah. We find that a lot of these great customer experience stories stem from as a service, you know, helping us complete some sort of tasks that we would have had to do ourselves and making it easy, which is great, which is perfect. That's exactly what you guys do in Definitive Healthcare, you know, as they serve as a service software as a service. So it's, it's really cool and brings it kind of full circle to how important it is, especially if you are listening to this podcast and you oversee a team that focuses on the service side of the house, it's super valuable to make sure that that's a good experience. So once again, thank you so much for joining us on our podcast. It was a pleasure. We had so much good tidbits of information. I'm gonna go buy that book right away. The customer success by Lincoln Murphy. I'll even put it underneath the podcast on the website just so that people have a link to it on Amazon. And yeah, Alex, I'll let you close up the show.

Alex McBratney (Host)  42:52

Yeah, no, you did it. Allastair, great having you on. It was a pleasure. Next time that the officially meet your dog and bring that guy over here and really see how that... 

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  43:00

Yeah. Aarde and Alex, thank you for having me on. It's been a great, great day.

Alex McBratney (Host)  43:06

You got it. Cheers.

Allastair Meffen (Guest)  43:08

Thank you.

Alex McBratney (Host)  43:10

Well, that wraps up the show for today. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to join us next week as we bring another guest in to talk about the trends around cloud contact center and customer experience. Also, you can find us at, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on Another Cloud Podcast.